Paul Lambert bemoaned a quickfire treble in the defeat to Man Utd - but the boss also spoke of pride in his team's second-half rally.
Villa were three-down after just 33 minutes, courtesy of a Robin van Persie hat-trick.
But they came roaring back after the break to play some quality football at times as they took the game to the champions in their own backyard.
Lambert was pleased with the response and believes it will stand his young stars in good stead for the crucial coming weeks.
He said: "The damage was done early. It was disappointing because you've got to come here and get a foothold in the game.
"But we lost a goal after about sixty seconds. The second goal was just an unbelievable finish.
"I knew it was going to be really tough but all credit to my team. They kept on going.
"It was important we didn't capitulate like we did at Stamford Bridge.
"We didn't. We kept on going.
"We had one or two chances ourselves too.
"If Christian had scored with the score at 1-0 we'd have had a chance.
"We attacked them in the second half. We have guys like that.
"I am pretty proud that they kept on going. That was important after what happened at Chelsea.
"We wanted to make sure it didn't happen again. Credit to them they kept on going against a brilliant side, the best in the country.
"After Stamford Bridge it took us a bit of time to recover. Some of the lads tonight played in that game.
"I was delighted with that side of our game.
"You have to come here and give a right good account of yourselves.
"But after the start we had, we thought 'we can't lose any more here'. To be fair to the lads, they kept on going.
"I spoke to them after the game and told them they'd done really, really fine in the second half. I couldn't ask anymore. We kept on attacking.
"Their goalkeeper made some decent saves.
"But congratulations to Man Utd. They have been the best team all season.
"They work really hard, they work for each other, they have a mentality that has been here for years and years. The best team always wins the league."
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